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The Athletic Club

of Overland Park
27 Jun 2013

Badminton in Kansas, A History- Courtesy of Overland Park Athletic Club

The Athletic Club of Overland Park offers a wide variety of sports from the games you played in grade school like volleyball and basketball, to other less traditional choices like racquetball, handball, squash, table tennis, and badminton.

Actually in the case of badminton, maybe the proper phrase would be “more traditional.” Although it has only been an Olympic sport since 1992, Badminton can be traced all the way back to mid-18th century India where its ancestor (a game called Battledore and Shuttlecock) was played by the British military families. When the military officers retired they took the sport back to England, where the rules were refined and it was eventually given its name by the Duke of Beaufort of the Badminton House.

Badminton is one of the most popular sports in the world, second only to soccer. Badminton in Kansas is also extremely popular. In fact badminton in Kansas City plays an important role in history: 48 times larger that in real thing at 18 feet tall and 5,500 pounds, the badminton shuttle the lawn of the Nelson art museum is the largest one in history.

Crazy right? Check out these other fun facts about badminton:

  • Badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport: a shuttle can leave the racket at a speed of almost 300 km/hour.
  • The Thomas Cup, the men’s world team championships, has been won by only three countries since it began in 1948
  • Malaysia, Indonesia and China. The only time the Uber Cup, the women’s world team championships, was won outside Asia was by the USA in 1957, 1960 and 1963; other holders are China, Indonesia and Japan.
  • The two most successful badminton countries are China and Indonesia
  • The Chinese originally played a version of badminton called Ti Zian Ji. They didn’t use racquets though, they used their feet.

Sparked your interest? To play badminton in Kansas at the Athletic Club of Overland Park click here!